Blackfoot City Council to discuss pool options tonight

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BLACKFOOT — It’s the New Year, and for the city of Blackfoot, that means addressing one of its most pressing problems.

The Blackfoot Pool is rapidly falling into disrepair, and the city is racing to come up with solutions. Blackfoot councilman Chris Jensen has been working for over a decade to fix the pool’s problems.

”I ran for City Council 12 years ago…and got elected, and I’ve been fighting for the pool ever since,” Jensen said.

Some want to knock the pool down and build a recreation center. Jensen says it will cost less to repair the pool than to knock it down and rebuild it. He also thinks the problems with the pool are fixable, but it may be too late if the city doesn’t act soon.

The city tried to pass a $5 million pool bond twice in 2017 to pay for the repairs, but came up short. At the Tuesday night City Council meeting, the city treasurer will present four options:

– close the pool
– do nothing
– close the pool temporarily
– try passing a pool bond again

“Although yes, there are maintenance issues with the pool, it’s not all because the city neglected maintenance,” city of Blackfoot Treasurer Holly Powell said. “They’ve tried to keep up as best as they could, but again, there’s only so much money to go around.”

The pool has been around since the 70s, and for many, it’s more than just a place to swim.

“How many generations of kids have learned to swim here?” said Jensen, “I have a least a couple of former scouts, I used to be a scout master, who are alive today because they learned to swim in this pool.”

Blackfoot’s city council meeting is Tuesday at 7 p.m. After the options for the pool are presented, there will be some discussion, but it’s unlikely a final decision will be made.

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